Sweet and Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken with Chilies

Ketchup - it’s what’s for dinner! Okay, okay, it’s not only what’s for dinner. But did you know that ketchup is amazing in stir-fry dishes?

Ketchup is best used in sweet and sour recipes that can range from being super quick and easy, like this NYT Recipe for Stir-Fried Chicken with Ketchup, or still easy but with complex flavors, like the one I adapted from Chef Andrew Zimmern below! You may be surprised, but ketchup successfully builds an incredible sauce that’s tangy, bright, and delicious!

In making a stir-fry with ketchup, it’s important that I trust the ketchup I’m using. I adore Primal Kitchen’s Organic Unsweetened Ketchup because it’s not only organic, but it also contains ingredients I can trust. It’s even Whole30 Approved and Paleo Friendly! Plus, the color of the ketchup has a beautiful red hue and the ketchup flavor just pops! 

If you love Thai flavors, you’re going to enjoy this dish! In addition to ketchup, Thai ingredients like lemongrass, shallots, garlic, and turmeric are utilized to really make this dish exotic. The peas and carrots also add a nice healthy touch and a satisfying texture!

So what are you waiting for! Get your Primal Kitchen Ketchup (stir-fry) on!

Sweet and Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken with Chilies


Time: 1 Hour
Serves 6


Pickled Tomatoes
1 tsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
2 tsp coconut vinegar or distilled white vinegar
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 tsp sambal ulek
1/8 tsp shrimp paste
1/2 tsp salt
3 medium vine ripe tomatoes, quartered

Bangkok-Style Stir-Fry
10 fresh birdseye chilies
4 lemongrass stalks, tender inner white part only, roughly chopped
8 shallots, chopped (2 cups) 
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs  
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup lightly packed mint leaves, coarsely chopped

In a medium mixing bowl, prepare the pickle by stirring together the sweet soy sauce, vinegar, light brown sugar, sambal, shrimp paste, and salt. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Allow pickle to marinate for at least 20 minutes. 

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chilies, lemongrass, shallots and garlic. Puree, scraping the mixture off the sides as needed, until smooth, about 4-5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the turmeric, cinnamon and 1 tsp kosher salt. In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add half of the chicken thighs and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes total; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Add the pureed chili mixture to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring and breaking up any browned bits from the chicken, until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add Primal Kitchen ketchup, vinegar, sugar and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the skillet with accumulated juices and simmer over moderately low heat until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium pot of salted boiling water, cook the carrots until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; drain. Add the carrots and peas to the chicken and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mint and season with salt. Transfer the chicken to a platter and spoon the sauce over the top. Serve With steamed Jasmine rice and pickled tomatoes.



Thai Red Curry with Salmon

Thai curry is my comfort food! It's healthy, full of flavor, and I can make it in 30 minutes or less with a jar of red curry paste! Plus, I often have my of the ingredients growing in my garden, like birdseye chilies, cilantro, and bell peppers. It's also a great dish to throw in other vegetables left over from the week. In my case: carrots!

You can make this curry with light or whole coconut milk, but I like to keep it light to cut out unnecessary calories. It's still just as yummy! 

Speaking of yummy, did you know that Thai food is meant to be balanced with sweet, sour, salty, spicy, and bitter flavors? I think that's what makes Thai food one of my top favorite cuisines in the world. It truly never lets me down! 

Thai Red Curry with Salmon

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp canola oil, divided
2 medium spring onions, white bulb and green stalks, finely sliced, or 1 medium onion + 4 green onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 (15 oz) can light coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
6 fresh birdseye chilies, sliced
1 tbsp light brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp fish sauce
1 cup loosely packed Thai basil
1 lb skinless salmon fillet, pins removed

To Serve
Steamed rice
Cilantro leaves, to garnish
Thai Basil leaves, to garnish
Steamed rice, to serve

Preheat oven to 400F. 

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry paste, coconut milk, chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add bell peppers, carrots, birdseye chilies, sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in Thai basil. Adjust seasonings if desired.

Meanwhile, in a large oven-proof skillet, heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook salmon for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 6 minutes, until internal temperatures reaches 145F. Remove salmon from heat and divide into four pieces.

Transfer salmon pieces to curry mixture and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes to allow flavors to combine.

Serve salmon on plates over steamed rice and season to taste with additional squeezes of lime and fish sauce. 



Thai Green Curry with Chicken, Carrots, and Potatoes

Is making green curry chicken from scratch an easy feat? On a weeknight even? Yup, it sure is! I’ll admit, those simmer sauces at the store can make life a little easier, but I promise that they are not needed for this dish! The green curry paste comes together in just minutes so you can start on the rest of your dinner right away.

What I love about making my own curry paste is that I know the ingredients are fresh and that there are also no added mystery flavorings or preservatives. In fact, it’s quite the opposite when I make curry paste because we typically grow many of the ingredients in our garden like dragon chilis, lemongrass, garlic, cilantro, and coriander seeds.

Speaking of my garden, this brings me to explaining the chili leaves! Did you know that chili leaves are edible? They’re traditionally used in the curry paste to help produce a gorgeous green color. Even though it’s January, my pepper plant somehow had several nice leaves on it, so I was lucky enough to use them in this dish.

If you don’t have a chili plant growing in your garden and your vendors at your farmer’s market are unable to provide you with the chili leaves (or even the cilantro roots for that matter), you’ll be okay! Just use some extra green chilis for coloring, as long as you can handle the heat, and some cilantro stems instead. No problemo! Curries are flexible like that, and this one is certainly easy, healthful, and delicious!

Thai Green Curry Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4


Curry Paste
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
10-15 green Thai chilis, stemmed, or 3 large jalapeños, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. shrimp paste
1 tbsp chili leaves
2 tbsp cilantro roots or stems
1 2-inch piece lemongrass, bruised and roughly chopped
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1-inch piece ginger, roughly chopped

1 14 oz can coconut milk
2 medium carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 medium yukon gold potato, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 large jalapeño, seeded, chopped
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1.5 cups chicken broth
5-10 dried birdseye chilis
2 kaffir lime leves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 small bunch basil, thinly sliced

Steamed rice, for serving

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the black peppercorns, cumin, and coriander and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer spices to a food processor along with remaining curry paste ingredients. Blend on high until smooth. 

Transfer chili paste, coconut milk, carrots, potatoes, and jalapeños to a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the coconut oil separates from the milk. Stir in chicken, broth, birdseye chilis, and kaffir lime leaves and cook for 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Stir in fish sauce and light brown sugar. Adjust seasonings to taste and remove from heat. Serve immediately over steamed rice and garnish with shredded basil leaves.

Thai-Infused Chicken Noodle Soup

This Thai-Infused Chicken Noodle Soup is really hitting the spot right now! 

Adrian and I have been so sick for the past week and I’m not sure if I’ve come down with another cold, or if this is just the longest running cold ever. All I know is that even though we’re still worn out, we really wanted to make the easiest, most comforting soup ever. 

Scouring our pantry, refrigerator, and garden, we found some dried knife-cut noodles, chicken broth, hot peppers, limes, and plenty of Asian condiments, so there wasn’t much to pick up at the grocery store: perfect. Even more perfect? We made the soup in less than 20 minutes.

The knife-cut noodles are wonderful in this chicken broth flavored with lime juice, fish sauce, and light brown sugar. They’re actually wheat noodles instead of rice and lot thicker than you would normally use in a Thai noodle soup, but these noodles are really good as well. Because they’re so hearty, you almost feel like you’re eating a dumpling soup, without all the work! Adrian and I are both very pleased, especially since we could put together a healthy, homemade soup when it was a little hard to stand up. 

Whether or not this chicken soup will help to hasten this cold or not, it sure feels like it will, and that’s all that matters to us right now!

Thai-Infused Chicken Noodle Soup

Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 6

3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1 15 oz can whole sweet corn, drained, liquid reserved
8 nests Taiwanese sliced noodles (about 200 grams)
1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 bunch green onions, finely sliced
1 large serrano, finely sliced
8-10 dried birdseye chilies (optional)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (reserve 2 tbsp for garnish)

To Garnish
Fish Sauce
Chili garlic sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges
Chopped cilantro

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat chicken broth and reserved corn liquid over high heat and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions until al dente (about 2-3 minutes). Carefully ladle noodles out of broth with a pasta spoon and set aside.

Add the chicken, corn kernels, ginger, green onions, serrano chilies, birdseye chilies, fish sauce, light brown sugar, and chili garlic sauce to the broth and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Return noodles to the broth and stir in lime juice, lime zest, and cilantro. Serve immediately in bowls and season to taste with additional fish sauce and chili garlic sauce. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro. 



Thai Stir-Fried Noodles with Kale and Chicken: Pad See Ew

Sometimes your noodles fall apart and the dish is still tasty. This is a great example of that! I was sooo excited that the grocery store started carrying "fresh" flat rice noodles that I purchased them the first time I saw them on the shelf. But, it turned out that these noodles weren't as fresh as what I was used to purchasing at an amazing Asian market in downtown San Jose. Darn it! 

Adrian and I learned in the past that even storing the fresh noodles in the refrigerator for longer than a week would cause them to disintegrate, so I'm assuming that's what happened at the store. So if you're going to make these, you might want to check the shipment date with your marketplace to ensure freshness. I'm not too disappointed though, it's really just a different texture and the seasonings brings immense joy to my palate!

We usually make this dish with Chinese broccoli, but we have so much kale growing that it was a fun experiment. If you have access to Chinese broccoli, definitely go ahead and use it over kale. But even though it's not authentic, I'm loving the kale flavor. I'm pretty sure this dish works well with any related green from the brassica family.

Note/Reminder: Light soy sauce is not low-sodium soy sauce! Check out this article on Serious Eats for more.

Thai Stir-Fried Noodles with Kale and Chicken: Pad See Ew

Adapted from Thai Table
Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp peanut oil
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup thinly sliced chicken thigh or breast
1 lb fresh flat rice noodles, 3/4-inch thick
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 lb kale or Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan), cut into two-inch long pieces; large stems halved
1 tsp ground white pepper

Light brown sugar
Fish sauce
Ground chili pepper
Light brown sugar
White vinegar
Ground white pepper

Heat a wok to high heat and then add oil. Drop in the chopped garlic and stir until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add in the sliced chicken and stir until light brown. Add rice noodles, stirring carefully to break up the noodles. Then stir in light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar. Stir to mix the seasonings into the noodles and chicken. 

Open a spot in the middle of the pan, and drop the egg in. Scramble the egg until it is almost all cooked. Fold in the noodles into the egg until combined.

Add the kale stems and stir for a couple minutes. Then add kale pieces, a couple handfuls at a time, and carefully fold them in. Once the kale is tender, turn off heat and mix in white pepper. Serve on plates with condiments of your choice!